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  #1  
Old 04-27-2001, 02:48 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Indianapolis
Posts: 87
I have recently purchased a '88 300E and the lights that illuminate the instrument cluster are very dim, to the point where it is not visible while driving at night. I have been reading the postings on this site well before I purchased my benz and find it extremely helpful; can anyone offer up any ideas on the illumination problem?
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'88 300E
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  #2  
Old 04-27-2001, 09:28 PM
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The potentiometer could be the problem. IT is located in the rear of the cluster. You will have to remove the cluster to access the pot.

Good luck

PS...We sell parts!
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  #3  
Old 04-27-2001, 09:55 PM
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Location: buckhorn, ontario, Canada
Posts: 101
Improving Illumination

This is a common complaint. See the following thread for 3 things that worked for me. Instrument Panel Ligthing on W124 (http://www.peachparts.com/shopforum/showthread.php?threadid=15315)

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  #4  
Old 04-27-2001, 10:00 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Accokeek, MD
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There is a knob at the front of the instrument panel that adjusts the light intensity of the instrument panel. Have you tried turning it clockwise? It looks like a knob you might find on the back of a wind up alarm clock.

If that does not do the trick, order a potentiameter from Parts Shop.

Smiles.
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1993 190E 2.3
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  #5  
Old 04-28-2001, 07:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: buckhorn, ontario, Canada
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Several things happen over time to reduce illumination of the instrument cluster. One, the bulbs lose some intensity simply due to age; also, the cluster lens builds-up a film of oxidization on the inside; and thirdly, oxidization of the rheostat wiper introduces electrical resistance that effectively attenuates voltage to the bulbs even when the knob is turned full-on.

Solution for the first condition is to replace the bulbs; for the second, clean inside of the lens with a quality plastic cleaner and polish (such as Novus).

You have a couple of options with respect to the rheostat. If you think that you will ever want to lower the light level then you may want to replace the rheostat. However, most people find that W124 cluster illumination is just adequate at full-on -- and have no desire to reduce it further. In this case, save your money and solder a jumper across the wiper contact on the rheostat. This will give you the minimum resistance and maximum illumination (at least equal or better than a new rheostat).

Barrie
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'86 300E
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  #6  
Old 04-28-2001, 08:22 PM
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Thanks Barry.. that is very usefull information... I will tuck it away in my wisdom bin!

Smiles.
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1993 190E 2.3
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2001, 06:08 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: oregon
Posts: 2,013
I had a faulty reostat on my 81 sd 126 and did exactly as Barrie said I removed dash panel put in new bulbs and then removed old reostat and soldered in a lenght of auto type wireing from one pole to the other it's real clear when you take the old reostat out. I made the wire long enough that if I ever wanted to put in a remote reostat there would be enough wire ,but the full on light seems just perfect .Also removing the reostat dose not affect the reset on the trip odometer as the are the same nob....
William Rogers.....
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